20/12/2018: Today's Updates... 5.00pm...
A snow shower currently affecting the village area - bringing another dusting...
The morning period was excellent on the ski area in terms of the quality of snow underfoot with most of the area seeing fresh, dry and cold snow conditions which made the early pistes a real joy. There was some wind higher up, especially noticeable at the tops of the higher chairs, however a few gusts were also felt at slightly lower elevations today. The wind meant that ascertaining the fresh snowfall at 1800m was tricky, however, it looks as though about 20cm fell at this elevation, with perhaps more than that at the top and the result was lovely, freshened pistes and some powder too.
We are keeping a record again of the snowfalls through this season and so far the running totals are: 63.5cm at 1200m, since the end of October and 182cm at 1800m for the same period. Note that this is not the current depth, but is the total of individual snowfalls that have been recorded.
In terms of the weather today, the early morning flurries had gone by the time it got light and there was some sunshine on the ski area at times, with clouds coming and going too. This afternoon, after a dry start, the snow flurries and cloud have returned to the area, though have left little more than a faint dusting in places.
The weather is set to deteriorate tomorrow, with some rain on the way, with the period later tomorrow and tomorrow night looking very wet. There are still variations showing in the models regarding the extent of any rain over the weekend, with perhaps the worst of it over by Saturday morning, but more comment on this on tomorrow morning's forecast. Unfortunately the ECMWF has ditched its idea of a Christmas Day snowfall, however, this morning it was suggesting some form of rain to snow event on Christmas Eve, but other models are not keen on this - so there is obviously still some uncertainty at quite short ranges. What does look more certain, is that most models do now suggest a period of anticyclonic dominated weather from Christmas Day onwards, which could bring some very pleasant daytime periods on the ski area. Before then, how much damage the potentially significant rain event on Friday night does to the lowest pistes remains to be seen, with any lower piste, which has not had the benefit of snow cannon cover, likely to come under pressure. Fortunately, the vast majority of pistes in Chatel have a base with a mix of natural and man made snow, so should be fairly resilient to this milder period, however, there is always nervousness when rain is in the forecast!
The avalanche risk tomorrow is expected to be a 3 above 2200m, which is a considerable risk and rising to 3 at elevations below this, according to the latest Meteo France update this afternoon (link on the snow forecast page).
Some good news - although the new Pierre Longue 6 man chair was not open this morning (we went past a couple of times to check) , it has reportedly opened this afternoon! Looking forward to riding on that in the very near future and also seeing other areas of the resort open on Saturday.
Lots to look forward too...
Snow conditions have been excellent this morning in the Chatel area - the best of the season so far... report and photos to follow later...
The skies are clearing this morning and there should be some great conditions on the ski area today. The photo below was the scene looking across the village a few minutes ago.
Report update from the ski area to follow during the day...
Bonjour from Chatel. There has been some more snow overnight with an additional 2.5cm this morning on our measuring surface at close to 1200m. This brings the total for the snowfall since yesterday afternoon to 11.5cm.
Currently snowing very lightly with a temperature close to 0c.
The forecast page is expected to be updated at 7.45am, with further updates on this page during the day.
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